Tigran Arakelyan leads the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra.

Tigran Arakelyan leads the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra.

Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra sets December concert

Music seasonally inspired

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra will present its December concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 4 at Chimacum High School Auditorium.

In addition to the concert at 91 West Valley Road in Chimacum, an open dress rehearsal is planned at 7 p.m. Dec. 2.

Attendees are strongly encouraged to wear a high-quality mask for both the concert and the dress rehearsal.

This is a free concert, with donations welcome.

Tigran Arakelyan, now in his fifth year leading the orchestra, is a conductor, educator, podcaster and radio host.

He also is music director of the Northwest Mahler Festival, assistant conductor of the California Philharmonic Orchestra, and music director of both the Federal Way Youth Symphony and Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra.

Under his leadership, the orchestra has performed works by such American composers as William Grant Still and Amy Beach.

He introduced the PTSO Young Artist Competition in 2019.

The seasonally inspired concert includes the overture to the operetta Die Fledermaus by Johan Strauss II.

This operetta is drawn from a farcical German play where, as a joke, a passed-out drunk reveler is dressed in a bat costume and dropped in the center of town. As the unfortunate victim plots his revenge, hilarity ensues.

In a similar vein, the overture to the opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbart Humperdinck is based on a Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale. First performed Dec. 23, 1893, it is a seasonal favorite.

Inspired by a rink of skaters in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, Émile Waldteufel wrote Les Patineurs (The Skaters Waltz) in 1882. This music invoking a wintry scene should be familiar to anyone who has been to an ice or roller skating rink.

The program also includes the first movement of Symphonie Espagnole by Eduard Lalo. For this piece, the orchestra will be joined by 2022 Young Artist Competition winner Aliyah Yearian as violin soloist.

Rounding out the program is Leroy Anderson’s classic “A Christmas Festival.”

A favorite of conductor Arthur Fiedler, Anderson wrote and arranged many pieces for the Boston Pops orchestra, including this one in 1950.

More information is available on the orchestra website, ptsymphony.org.

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